For a long time now, the people living at 805 Rock Creek Church Road have been the focus of neighbor frustration and fears, as well as the attention of various law enforcement agencies. Between witnessing late night (and daylight) drug deals and a constant stream of people coming and going at the house that sits next to a popular daycare, frustrated residents began emailing MPD and city officials to do something about the property.
Residents wanted an end to the drugs, parents wanted safety for their children at Ideal Child Development Center next door, and MPD wanted to remove ongoing illegal activity.
MPD Lieutenant Anthony Washington, who manages Police Service Area 407 where the house is located, received email after email from neighbors, nearby residents and parents of children at the daycare next door to 805 Rock Creek Church Road. Each email expressed frustration with the ongoing drug trade, the all night traffic of people and cars coming up to the house. One neighbor reported being accosted by a man asking for $20 in order to buy heroin, otherwise he'd have to steal something. They wanted MPD to do something, now.
In today's world, it takes time to build a case, and it takes constant pressure by residents and MPD. What started as emails from residents transitioned into a focused investigation by MPD, the Office of the Attorney General and the Narcotics and Special Investigations Division, with official surveillance, undercover drug buys and finally, a search warrant and the arrest of three people at the house on March 9, 2016. Two men and a woman were arrested, and large quantities of controlled substances (e.g., marijuana, heroin, cocaine) as well as a loaded firearm were seized.
Unfortunately, even after the March arrest and seizure of drugs and weapons, drug activity picked back up again at the property. Emails to MPD from residents continued to pour in. MPD searched for the owner of the property, Inez Dade, an owner they heard had passed away. They even went so far as to get a program from the funeral of Ms. Dade to try to find a next of kin who could take possession of the property and deal the residents. Once they identified who owned the property (not the home's residents, but the estate of Ms. Dade), MPD and the Office of the Attorney General worked with the Ms. Dade's estate to evict the resident.
According to Lt. Washington, who has consistently pushed different DC agencies to take action, the long work has turned into a writ of repossession for the property by a judge on Thursday morning. This means the people who have been living there will now face eviction.
"The next step will be to serve the current occupants with an order to vacate," Lt Washington wrote on the 4D MPD listserv. "Typically, the occupants are given 30 days to vacate. If they remain longer than the terms of the notice, the US Marshals Service can execute the order forcibly."
The US Marshals service is the only agency that enforces evictions, but they do not conduct evictions during months where the weather can create a hardship (i.e., winter). So it's possible that the eviction won't happen until spring. "I [will be] doing every thing I can to shorten that timeline and will keep you posted," Lt. Washington wrote on his listserv email, saying he will continue to keep special attention on the 800 block of Rock Creek Church Road until the eviction is completed.
On a related note, the Washington Post wrote a profile of Inez Dade and her sisters back in 2011 that is pretty interesting to read: "Celebrating 3 sisters' lives and longevity."
- MPD serves warrant, seizes drugs and a gun on Rock Creek Church Rd (March 10, 2016)